Thomas’s cold turned out to be Meningitis - mum Vikki helps raise awareness

editorial image

Meningitis was the last thing Vikki Waldie was expecting her baby to be diagnosed with when he fell ill in June.

Little Thomas seemed to have nothing more than a common cold, but the situation soon changed.

Within a day he had lost his appetite, developed a temperature, was lethargic, vomiting and vacant.

Mrs Waldie said: “We spoke with NHS Direct (111) who advised us to speak with our GP in the morning. The next day Thomas grimaced at any head movement, his fontanelle was swollen and hardened slightly. He was still vomiting, so we returned to our GP who asked us to go to hospital to be checked out, where they immediately started treating him for all forms of meningitis.

“It was the last thing I expected them to say because I didn’t know the symptoms and he had no rash. They caught it just in time and we were very lucky because it could have been a very different story in a matter of hours.”

Thomas was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and did later develop the septicaemia rash. He stayed in hospital for a week and appears to have made a full recovery. Mrs Waldie decided to share her story as part of Meningitis Awareness Week, which ends on Sunday, in the hope of helping others.

Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that can strike without warning, killing one in 10, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs.

Children under five and students are most at risk, but the diseases can strike at any age and not all forms are currently covered by vaccines.

Chris Head, chief executive of the Meningitis Reasearch Foundation said: “A new vaccine for meningococcal B infection is currently under consideration and may not be introduced because of costs. People are still not fully protected against all types, so being aware of the symptoms is essential to saving lives.”

Visit www.meningitis.org for symptoms or download the free iPhone App at www.bit.ly/MRFapp.